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December's Journal
February's Journal

[17:00] Happily, today has been a fairly quiet day. Combine that with it being a complete rest day and subtracting the high winds for cycling in (including to town and back for an eye test) and it has been quite restful, really. Which is good considering I was shattered last night (although having Rachel around perked me up somewhat), and not particularly keen on getting up this morning.

Nothing to report work-wise, other than some minor UPS stuff, some successful restores of data and applications to those guest instances I rebuilt a few days ago, and some scheduling of more patching that might be happening next week... as that's already the beginning of February.

I'm off shortly for the weekend. It should - I hope - have a very long run on Saturday, a shorter long run on Sunday, a Tesco shop, plenty of lazing around, and Rachel coming back on Sunday afternoon, when hopefully I'll still have enough energy and be uninjured enough from my running to entertain. Between now and then there's probably going to be delivery pizza tonight (a weakness, I know), and a fairly early night so I can get up in time to do my run before the weather closes in... if that's the way round things are going to go. I should check the forecast again before bed.

[17:10] Another early start. This one not quite as early as all I had to do was get in to work for 08:00 to patch a load of servers. As I didn't manage to stay asleep all that much I ended up getting in to work for about 07:35. Patching went OK, mostly. A few niggles here and there, but nothing problematic. I tried going for a very fast run at lunchtime and came out of the other side realising that it wasn't that much faster than a similar distance run I did a few weeks ago on the old training plan. This is going to have me pondering for a bit as to whether I should go back to the old plan or not. I don't know.

Anyway, I'm off for a physio session right now, then Rachel's coming over and we're going to eat all the mashed potato and sausages we can.

[18:25] Another very busy day. Which is kind of good, I guess. This one started with an initially very creaky 1.5 hour run at 06:25 this morning. By the end of it I was doing pretty well, but even with stretches the night before (after a cardio erg with Max) and this morning both when I got up, and at the boat house, I wasn't really feeling all that limber and flexible. We'll have to see what the physio says tomorrow evening before Rachel arrives. Anyway, run done I got to work and set about getting the umpteen machines I'm patching tomorrow morning ready to go, as well as clearing the decks of three machines that could be patched today... at least when Red Hat's distribution network was playing ball, anyway. The server I was working on yesterday with three Xen guests on it I decided just wasn't worth the effort any more, so powered it down, decomissioned it, and reinstalled the guests it has butchered on the VMware cluster instead. That seems to be the way things are going these days, which bothers me a little in ways I can't quite put into words at the moment. Anyway, they're up and running, everything's ready for the developer to get their software restored back onto them once the backup client's installed, which should be on Friday. I also took a quick cycle over to a server room to slot in a few hard drives, create a new virtual disk and get everything up and running on another server which has been needing a bit more disk space for a while. My servers for tomorrow morning (when I was hoping to do another run like this morning, but won't be able to because I'll be in work) have had all their packages downloaded, those with firmware updates pending have had them applied/queued (and I'm hoping none of them mess up like the one on Tuesday morning did), and it's just a case of me heading to dinner with Kate and then trying to get a better night's sleep than I did last night.

[17:00] It has been a hell of a day. It started early with patching of one of the most tier 1 applications we have. The database server wouldn't see its disk after patching. This scared the pants off me for about twenty minutes as I got closer and closer to going to where it is physically and doing stuff with a rescue CD. Eventually, somehow, I got it booted. Then while that was going on I was trying to bring back a server with three Xen guests on it. For some reason it'd totally corrupted its filesystem when it lost a hard drive (hardware RAID5). It took me the remainder of the morning and lunchtime (missing an Ansible talk I'd wanted to attend) to get the host OS/hypervisor back. I haven't managed to get the guests back, and probably won't. I may just have to rebuild them tomorrow. Or at least clone them from another source.

This afternoon was therefore basically taken up with trying to fix things. I've done nothing off my to do list for today... which luckily wasn't that long. Lots of small jobs for people with linux desktops, but nothing that I can't do tomorrow instead... When hopefully I'll be running with Max before work.

[17:10] This was a weekend when I ran twice, and in total managed almost 100km for the week (98.7 in the end). I'm very happy to report that other than feeling absolutely shattered both weekend afternoons, and some minor warnings (but nothing serious, I don't think) with regard to shin splints, everything currently seems to be fine. Which is great! Of course, it probably wasn't totally sensible to up my distance/week quite so steeply (as Rachel would quite heartily agree), but right now I seem to have gotten away with it. As such I won't be doing anything as silly again, and in fact will probably be running one fewer day this week instead (mainly due to having a busy week). Anyway, Saturday and Sunday were all about running, then getting my bike repaired due to leaving it locked to the boat trailer at the rowing club and it being manhandled in such a way that the front hydraulic brake needed bleeding and refilling. Also Tesco, and watching lots of films.

Today I said goodbye to Rachel, who arrived back from her short trip to Italy late last night, then headed to work and spent the day doing Oracle VM Manager upgrades, scheduling other upgrades, going for a pretty fast run at lunch time, and then setting up two new linux workstations for some developers. I'm off to do some lightish weights now, then will head home and see what I have in the house to eat. I'm patching early tomorrow morning (and again on Thursday, so no running then), so will be in work just before 08:00. Boo.

[16:05] A rest day! And thank goodness, because it meant I didn't have to get up at the crack of dawn, or run at lunch time when it was bucketing down with rain. Also, more time spent with Rachel before she goes away for the weekend this evening is always good. In fact I really left late for work, and yet have had a pretty productive day, doing all kinds of server things in the morning, and two linux workstation installs in the afternoon. With all kinds of bespoke software and everything. I might even have some movement on the physio biomechanical analysis thing, too. It might be that it's two-thirds their fault and one third mine because potentially my mail server might have binned their message containing the links to my media book downloads. We'll see what happens when they try to send it 'again' (they might not have sent it the first time).

Anyway, I'm off for the weekend, shortly. A run on Saturday and another on Sunday if I'm feeling up to it. Hopefully at least one of them will be somewhere within 80% of 'marathon pace', but we'll see how things pan out. I should plan some routes that don't take in too many road crossings or mud. For the moment though I'm going to head off and see if I can't catch Rachel before she leaves for her skiing-but-no-snow-so-now-hiking weekend.

[18:00] It's now three weeks since I had my biomechanical assessment as a Christmas present from Rachel... and the clinic still hasn't sent me the mediabook or anything to do with the appointment. I'm a bit annoyed at this point. Right now it's definitely not worth the massive amount of money Rachel paid for it. I've sent another (slightly less polite) email to the clinic asking what the deal is. Hopefully I'll hear something tomorrow.

In other news I got up just as early as yesterday and did pretty much exactly the same run (10m more, incredible gains!) in sub-zero temperatures with clear skies, no wind, and a rather lovely brightening of the sky as I trod out the miles. What makes me just as happy as the distance (and to a lesser extent the pace I maintained) was that I don't seem to be suffering anything other than a few aches. No real pains to speak of, and pretty much no warning signs. I think this could be an indication that I can stick with this increase in mileage for the next few weeks before potentially seeing if I can step on again. Or perhaps step up the pace a little bit. Rachel's being my source of sensibleness with regard to not doing too much, too quickly.

Speaking of Rachel, she's on here way here nowish, to work from (my) home tomorrow before heading off skiing for the weekend. Tomorrow's my rest day, so I'll be able to stay at home a little longer in the morning, and then get home nice and early after work (early doors on a Friday).

In other news, I got a fair amount of stuff done today. Deracked two old disk packs and an old server, moved another server into our old-sister-now-other-half-of-the-organisation's racks and got it booted and on the network, and did a whole load of patching scheduling. Now all I have to do is get home alive after buying some potatoes and it'll have been a pretty good day, all things considered.

[17:15] Pretty successful day, I'd say. After last night's erg (reasonable distance, good holding of rate to keep the heart rate up) I didn't get a particularly early night, although it was early enough. I was up very early though so as to get to the boat house in time to do my run. Up from 1 hour to 1.5 hours now, it was an interesting experience. Although it was nowhere near as cold as yesterday morning (when I didn't run), I had forgotten my compression undershorts, so had to run the risk of some severe chafing, as well as my nethers getting rather colder than usual. In the end the chafing wasn't too bad and nothing fell off, so I consider the run a win. It wasn't quite as fast as I wanted, but well within the bounds for the equations which are potentially going to predict my marathon time.

Nice hot shower at the boat house, then a rather tired cycle to work. Happily, the slight right knee issue I seemed to have developed somehow in bed last night didn't bother me in the run or on the cycle, so hopefully it was just a transient thing. At work I've consolidated four KVM guests from two servers on to a much bigger single server (which means I can decomission the two physical boxes shortly), solved a whole load of minor networking issues (a great learning experience), and caught up on a large amount of tabs on my web browser containing work things.

I'm going to go home now and have a proper evening at home tonight, for the first time this week. Then I'm thinking I'll do the same length run tomorrow morning and take Friday as a complete rest day given that Rachel is coming to see me on Thursday evening before she leaves on Friday evening for a weekend of skiing.

[17:00] Last night's talk wasn't all that interesting, sadly. I managed to squeeze in a short weights session beforehand, which might have been useful if it'd been a little longer. It was also very cold last night and possibly even colder this morning, when I sort of wish I'd been running into work like a friend of my has started doing. It's also nine miles each way for him if he goes by the most direct route, so I'd have to take some serious diversions to do the same kind of thing as him. Anyway, I'm running tomorrow at least once (in the morning). Perhaps in the evening too.

Today has mainly been about more stuff with two servers that're taking on new roles. One under my control and the other... well, under my control too, but only once the new world order takes hold in a few months. Although I imagine I'll be responsible for it from the off regardless.

Erg time now, then home for an early bed given tomorrow's early start. I hope it's not quite as cold as it was this morning.

[17:15] I should have left by now, but I had too many things to do that I've only just had time to write this. I've got a talk by a famous marathon runner to get to at 19:00, so I need to get some weights done before then and then cycle across town. At the moment I'm not sure if I'm going to make it or not. It might be a very short session.

On Friday night I attended a talk on running which gave me some very serious things to think about. It also meant that I've started running a little more slowly, but I'm going to be running a lot further/more often. That was reflected in the fact that I ran Saturday, Sunday, and today. Progressively shorter runs, but useful distances nevertheless. I won't be running tomorrow, probably, but I will be on Wednesday morning. Hopefully my left leg shin splints won't actually come to fruition.

Workwise I've done a lot of small things today, some of them very useful. Some of them won't actually finish doing what I started for potentially 24 hours or so (so tomorrow morning). I've still got a few things to do before I can say I'm all caught up, but they're all stored in my email inbox, so I can just work through them starting tomorrow morning.

Rachel arrived on Sunday evening and we had a lovely quiet evening together. She even got a later train this morning so we could have a bit more time, after being apart for a whole week. She's nice. I like her.

That talk on Friday night though... very very thought-provoking.

[17:30] A usefully productive day today. It started early with having to get in before 08:00 to patch some servers. Only about eight, but a useful number nevertheless. That enabled me to cross off two sections on my patching plan. Then it was a morning of dealing with DNS things, load balancer stuff, and access for people to subversion repositories. I was able to take a break to head out and do my sprintervals for the week at lunch time. Given the incipient/potential shin splints I opted to warm up to the running track nearby, do my sprints on that slightly more forgiving surface, then warm down on the way back to the office. Given how I'm feeling now I think that was the right choice. I'm now just hanging about in work after an afternoon of helping people update their linux workstations before PAT testing this weekend (hence their workstations being powered down) before I head off to a talk on marathon running at a nearby college.

Last night was a fairly good 20 min cardio erg, tomorrow is just a half marathon distance to knock out at some point when the weather's nice. I might do it first thing so I have the rest of the day to slob around and do necessary things at home. Rachel will be coming on Sunday. Probably in the late evening, so we'll have to cram as much fun as we can into the time before Monday morning when she has to go again.

[16:55] A quieter day today. I had to wait at home until 08:30 to have someone drop off some new tyres for my bike that I got at more than 50% off, which was nice. Then it was in to work in the very cold wind and rain. Mostly to do stuff with servers in preparation for tomorrow morning. Other than that I've had a good conversation with my new team leader about office space and desk positions. Hopefully that means I won't end up somewhere I hate in the new world order when it finally comes about.

I guess that's it, really. Some slight discomfort in my left shin (splints, perhaps), and the usual left ankle joint stiffness. No Rachel tonight as she's seeing family in Cornwall until Sunday evening. I'm off to do my erg, then home to eat lots.

[17:05] Last night's erg was hard, but doable. I think I was starting to get a little tired by the end of it. As such is was nice to go home and relax as quickly as possible afterwards. Steak for dinner helped, too. Getting up early this morning was slightly less pleasant than I'd been hoping for, also. However, by the time I was ready to start my run I wasn't feeling too bad. The run itself was 'heavy'. I didn't feel all that light on my feet, nor was I particularly fast (but not all that slow either). I think the Sunday-to-Wednesday exercise had caught up with me. I'm looking forward to tomorrow being another light day with just the single erg in the evening.

Work today was a large amount of reversions to a script I was editing yesterday, as well as replacing a broken HDD in a server (requiring a trip to one of the other server rooms). I tried resetting a Dell DRAC7 whilest I was on the trip, but didn't manage to make any progress there. I think a cold reboot of the server is what's going to be required.

That's about it, really. Nothing terribly exciting going on. Pretty much situation status quo. Although I have been hearing conversations over the bookshelves about new servers (physical and virtual) being mooted without going through the current/old chain of decision making, and instead through the new one. It's all a bit odd, considering that I'm probably going to be the person doing the actual leg-work. Still no news on when the new world order will actually start to be the actual world order, though.

[17:40] Another awesomely busy day. And quite a useful one at that. I've patched upwards of 18 servers today, without any real incident, worked through a significant amount of script rewrite to deal with new hardware monitoring, and been to do a psychology study at lunchtime which netted me a few pounds, too. On the down side I haven't made it to the boat house yet, so I should get on my way as soon as I've posted this entry. Tomorrow morning is a nice 'easy' one hour run. I hope the weather cooperates.

[16:55] Getting back to the coal face after an extended weekend away is never a pleasant experience. Couple that with the travel back from Rachel's place this morning and today has been a pretty long day. The weekend started extremely well, with Rachel turning up at my house after I'd done a pretty good 20min cardio erg. We then got to sleep in on Friday morning and pretend we were pulling a sickie. After doing a bit of shoe shopping (trail shoes for Rachel) we had lunch in town and then toddled over to the hotel we were staying in for the night as a treat. Naturally, the first thing we did was change into our running shoes and go out for sprintervals (me) and a tempo run (Rachel). I can't say my sprintervals were all that awesome, but I did my best for the most part. The afternoon and evening at the hotel were great, apart from the shower pan not being able to cope with the amount of water the showerhead put out. Then after dinner the people in the suite below us had loud and annoying conversation/shouting matches until around 03:10, despite me going to the front desk to ask them to phone and have them shut up. As a result the night's sleep wasn't all that great. Still, breakfast was lovely. I then cycled with Rachel to the train station so she could go back to Croydon for a hockey game, and I did all the usual weekend chores. After that I jumped on a train and headed down to Rachel's for the remainder of the weekend. Saturday night was quiet, and then after the rain had stopped on Sunday morning we did an 18mile/29km run together, which was by turns a real grind, and quite enjoyable. Obviously, after that nothing else enegetic was on the cards for the rest of the day. Then, as I said, it was Monday morning and I was on two trains back to work.

I've actually done loads of things today, from patching servers, to installing new workstations for developers. I've put orders in for replacement parts, got servers under 3rd party support and potentially found out where my new work area/office is going to be. I also managed to do my tempo run for this week the day after a 29km long run, and keep it inside the min/km marker I'd set myself. That was definitely pleasing... as is the current lack of injury I seem to have from doing so. I'm off to the boat house right now to do some kind of light weights session, then I'm going to go home and collapse before tomorrow starts.

[17:05] Hurrah for four day weeks. Especially the first one of the new year. I've done all kinds of useful stuff today, although I am a little bit concerned that something I've upgraded isn't going to survive a reboot. Still, it doesn't have to be rebooted any time soon. I've got some software to update too, but I should really wait until at least next week before I do that.

The physio last night was fairly positive about my potential shin splints. She's taped up my left foot/ankle/shin, so we'll see if that does anything when I'm running tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow, I'm not in work. It's not a sickie, as both Rachel and I have booked it as actual holiday. We're going to have an awesome day, maybe get her some new trail shoes, have lunch in town, then go to a really smashing hotel for a proper sit down meal with posh clothes and everything, then stay the night. Saturday she has to be away fairly quickly (for a weekend) so she can play hockey, but I'll head to her place in the afternoon after I've crammed all of my weekend stuff into half an afternoon. Then I'll stay with her until Monday morning, when I'll be back to start patching. Luckily, not before 09:00, as I won't get to my desk much before then. Phew!

OK, I think that's it. I'm off to do my erg, then home to welcome Rachel as soon as she arrives. Have a good Friday and weekend.

[16:35] Hmmm, didn't realise my physio was at 17:00, not 17:30. That means I need to get on and finish the stuff I was doing in double-quick time. Luckily I was already on top of things today, so I can leave most things running and head out of here shortly.

I did my 1 hour run this morning before work, off the back of the 20 min cardio erg last night (both at the boat house, or at least starting from there in the case of my run). I think I managed to get the run done without causing any more problems in the shape of potential shin splints in my left ankle, but have been a bit stiff elsewhere otherwise. Amusingly, I think my achilles tendons are probably the only parts of my legs which I'm not worried about at the moment, other than my knees (thank goodness). But as I said, I'm off to the physio for the first time since before Christmas, so maybe she'll have some ideas of what I can do to improve things.

Workwise I've been finding out that developers here are intending to use Docker, Ansible, and Puppet, all before I've been allowed to myself, and therefore in such a was as I'll have no control over the spread of how they're used. This is probably going to result in a security nightmare, but there's not much I can do about it at this juncture. It might not even be my responsibility in the brave new world which still doesn't seem to be coming into being as yet.

[16:55] Haircut yesterday was done in a record ten minutes. That's one of your British Pounds per minute of work. Still, it looks OK, which is all you really want. I then went to the boat house to do a moderately lacklustre weights session, before going home to eat everything I could get my hands on. It was just one of those evenings when you just don't seem to be able to stop eating. Or do only I get those? Anyway, in the end I went to be in the hopes that going to sleep would stop me from putting food in my mouth.

Got up and in to work this morning smoothly. Then spent over two hours doing important tasks and things before I could get on with actually sending an email about patching everything in my purview. Now that's out there it's up to service and project people to work out what Tuesday or Thursday mornings they're happy with me patching and rebooting their servers and I can get on with getting in a little earlier and seeing which boxes don't have proper application stack shutdown and startup scripts. Not to mention the fact that reboots always bring out the incipient hardware faults.

Anyway, I'm off to do a 20 minute erg to get the heart pumping a bit, then go home and try not to eat whatever's left in the house from last night's food rampage.

[16:05] It's the new year. And I'm back, and hoping that everything's going to be OK. Specifically with regard to my running, and injuried gained from doing that sport. At the moment I have incipient shin splints, recovering achilles tendinitis, and something odd going on with my right adductor. Rachel bought me a hopefully very useful bio-mechanical analysis for Christmas, and I'm waiting on the annotated "media book" which should tell me just how poor my technique is. Then I can start to make changes. It really was a very good present for someone like me. She's very smart, and know how much I obsess and worry about running, so this was the very best present to help me get a handle on myself. Or at least this aspect of me.

In other Christmas news, I went to my parents, visited my grandmother, connected with my adoptive nephew a little more than last Christmas, and did a good bit of running (including a sub-40min 10K on New Year's Eve). I actually spent New Year's Eve night alone (Rachel was at a party in London), but for the most part the time between Christmas and this morning was spent with Rachel having a second Christmas together and enjoying ourselves.

Back at work now I've printed out my marathon training plan for this year, updated the Journal with 2016 stuff, run my first training run from the plan, and organised a fairly overdue haircut (which I'll be leaving for shortly). Nothing's changed work-wise as yet. But I expect things to start to shift over the next few weeks.